Low altitude plus tall trees a bad combo

Aircraft: Cessna 170B. Injuries: None. Location: Winterville, N.C. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot was participating in a bean bag drop competition at the airfield.

He was flying from the left seat while his right-seat passenger was to drop the bean bag onto the target.

The pilot overflew the runway at 70 feet AGL and banked right to see where the bean bag landed.

There was a left-to-right crosswind that pushed him farther right than anticipated and toward tall trees. As the airplane approached tall trees at the edge of the airfield, the pilot banked further right to avoid them, but the plane stalled and crashed.

Probable cause: The pilot’s excessive bank at low altitude, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall.

NTSB Identification: ERA12CA344

This May 2012 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

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